Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition Review
The Fatal Fury series has always been popular among the fighting genre. It started from the SNES and has now made its way to the PSX. SNK also had some publishing problems with the game until later on they decided to publish the game themselves. When Capcom decided to get into the 3D realm with their most successful franchise, I really wasn't too optimistic. I though that the series should stay in 2D and that it would be too complicated to play in 3D. Capcom made me shut my mouth, because when they released Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha I was completely blown away, the game featured perfectly translated arcade graphics, marvelous sound effects and some of the best gameplay a SF title I have seen. Now, SNK is taking the 3rd turn and heading into another dimension with their newest Fatal Fury title, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition.
First off, I want to mention that the Computer Animated Graphics, compared to the ones I have seen lately I think that Fatal Fury's CGs can only compare to Driver's. They have been compressed with poor quality and the it's CG graphics definitely go on my naughty list. I think SNK needs a lesson or two from the FMV/CG gurus such as Capcom, Square, and Namco. If I was to compare this game to Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha then FF: WA has been completely left in the dust. If I remember correctly SF: EXPA had some of the most crisp visuals as well as frame rate in a fighting game in fact the only game that can compare to EX Plus Alpha was most likely Tekken 3. What my point is Street Fighter also used to be a 2D fighter, and it still is, but it now has 2 dimensions of battle, 2D and 3D. So if SF went into 3D and survived why couldn't Fatal Fury? Here are the reasons, FF has a terribly poor frame rate. SNK reported that it would be 60 frames per second but that was just as big as a lie as saying that Spice Girls was a great game. The backgrounds are a lot like Tekken 3's, but Tekken 3 had better colors and better quality. It almost made me break into tears to see such an excellent franchise destroyed on the PSX, let's just hope that SNK will make their next Fatal Fury in 2D and with more time spent on it.
Comparing this game yet again to EX Plus Alpha I can safely say that the game (FF: WA) doesn't compare to EX in any way. First of all FF has a horrible control response system, in a fighting game the control is the second most crucial aspect in a fighting game. What made SF: EX Plus Alpha so great was the combo system and how nicely they looked. It's a pretty big disappointment to see FF suffer more horrible things besides slow frames, and poor control response, but the game also lacks nice combos. The combo system is cheesy and so is the special move system. In order for me to pull of one Super I have to start moving my thumb in the craziest directions (I feel like I'm playing Twister with my fingers). During my battles I came across the scariest thing, FF: WA has a fighter who looks, fights and has the same stance as Adon from the Street Fighter Alpha series, not only that but their scenarios are both Thailand and their taunts are both the same (tightening the head band), it really gave me goose bumps. FF: WA has a variety of characters to choose from, but only 2 of them are locked. I don't see much point in trying to beat the game if you are rewarded with only two characters that is really bad replay value. Not only does the game lack a variety of players to choose from but it only features 3 modes, an Arcade Mode, two players, and training. These days, fighters have more than 5 modes, take Tekken 3 and Street Fighter Alpha 3. They both have a crazy amount modes to choose from as well as unique modes like Ball Mode (Tekken 3), Dramatic battle (SFA3), Force Mode (Tekken 3) etc. FF: WA doesn't deliver at all, it has very shallow gameplay and the only thing the game has is an average story.
I remember playing Fatal Fury for my SNES and back in the days the game had some great sound. But it seems as if SNK didn't leave the 8 bit sound days behind, instead they recycled it, remixed it and came up with a pile of trash. The announcer has no clearness in speech what so ever, and the sound effects like body landings and such, sound as weak as a feather dropping on the floor. The tunes have been re-mixed but the originals are also included, although it really doesn't matter how they sound because, lets just put it this way: my ears were not only covered but I also wanted to pull the speakers out of my TV.
To end the review I'll say this: Fatal Fury: Wild Ambitions had a lot of going for it, but instead SNK rushed the title for a quick buck, and forgot that there are reviewers like me on the job inspecting games 24-7 and getting down to a games every nook and cranny. Sorry SNK maybe you will have better luck with SNK vs Capcom when it rolls out on the Dreamcast or Arcades.